Dear colleague,

As you will be aware, the H5N1 bird flu virus is spreading, and the human flu pandemic it could trigger will hit developing countries the hardest. This week SciDev.Net launches a new BIRD FLU DOSSIER to keep you up to date on the latest information on H5N1 and developing nations.

The new dossier contains — and will be regularly updated with — news, features, opinions and editorials focusing on the spread of the H5N1 virus, and efforts to prepare for a human flu pandemic.

It will also contain the internet’s most comprehensive bird flu glossary and links to relevant reports, articles, websites and organisations. This includes free access to the latest relevant research papers appearing in the journals Science and Nature.

To visit the bird flu dossier click here:
http://www.scidev.net/birdflu

SciDev.Net has been reporting on bird flu since 2003 and has created this dossier because of the urgent need for policymakers to make informed decisions, for scientists to share their findings, and for the media to communicate the pandemic threat in a measured and accurate manner.

Highlights of the dossier include:

An INTRODUCTION summarising the current situation
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierfulltext&Dossier=24

EDITORIALS
Stepping up to the flu vaccine challenge
http://www.scidev.net/Editorials/ index.cfm?fuseaction=readEditorials&itemid=189&language=1

Developing countries need to recognise the long-term benefits of creating the capacity to research and develop flu vaccines.

Bird flu: a wake-up call to the African media
http://www.scidev.net/content/editorials/ eng/bird-flu-a-wake-up-call-to-the-african-media.cfm

Tom Egwang says the only way for Africa to combat bird flu successfully is through an effective communication strategy that enables the public to prepare both for outbreaks in their poultry stocks and for a possible human pandemic.

BIRD FLU WEEKLY UPDATES
SciDev.Net continues to provide a regular roundup of the key developments on the spread of the bird flu virus (H5N1) and the threat it poses to human health.

For the most recent updates visit:
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=specifictopics&dossier=24&topic=178

FEATURES

Pandemic flu: fighting an enemy that doesn’t yet exist
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierreaditem&dossier=24& type=2&itemid=515&language=1

Catherine Brahic reports on a scientific conundrum with profound implications for developing nations — how to make large supplies of a vaccine against a pandemic flu virus that does not exist yet.

Making Tamiflu cheap enough for the poor
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierReadItem& type=2&itemid=513&language=1&dossier=24

As production of flu drug Tamiflu gears up, big questions remain over how affordable — and effective — it will be, reports Martin Enserink in Science.

OPINIONS

Bird flu data must be made public ­ and fast
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierreaditem&dossier=24& type=3&itemid=480&language=1

The world badly needs a comprehensive, public database of information on bird flu outbreaks in people and animals, says a Nature editorial.

China’s bird flu strategy ‘needs overhaul’
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierreaditem&dossier=24& type=3&itemid=462&language=1

An editorial in Nature argues that China’s reluctance to join global efforts to control bird flu points to the need for a new strategy.

GLOSSARY
http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/ index.cfm?fuseaction=definitions&dossier=24

New material will be continuously added to the dossier, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions.


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